Interview with Rosie
1. Introduce yourself
My name is Rosie Lombard and I am 25 years old. I live in Cape Town, South Africa with my boyfriend who is a professional body boarder and surfs on the world tour. We live right near the beach and love to spend our days in the ocean and outdoors. I am an english teacher and work in a private school about 20 minutes from my house as well as teach English online from my house. I have always had a passion for working with children, especially children with special needs. I graduated in 2018 and obtained my BEd degree. When I left high school I became very obsessed with my health and did anything to loose weight. Looking back now, I realise I was always so unhappy with myself and my body. My thoughts about myself were always negative and I defiantly always punished myself with food restriction and exercise.
In the last 6 years my relationship with food suffered terribly and I went to extremes to loose weight and to change what I saw in the mirror. When I hit puberty , loosing weight seemed impossible for me and everything I tried in the past , didn’t work. I just kept gaining weight until I hit my heaviest weight ever. I was so unhappy and so desperate that eventually it lead to developing some very bad habits. In January 2015 I finally started loosing weight by cutting out major food groups like most carbs, protein and fat which by no means is healthy at all. But because this allowed me to loose weight I didn’t care about the damage it would do to my body. I started training excessively and eventually only ate low carb veg and drank tons of tea to keep my body warm and this helped me feel ‘full’. In October 2015 i was diagnosed with anorexia. My whole life changed and I was lucky enough to recover from this horrible illness. The after effects of anorexia have been terrible, even though I am back to a healthy weight and have managed to maintain it. In the last few years I have developed hypothyroidism, anxiety and struggle with brittle teeth and excessive hair loss.
It may sound exaggerated but Carnivore has defiantly SAVED my life and I am so pleased I am able to share my journey with you today.
2. How did you eat before Carnivore?
During my teen years I became very aware of things like sugar, carbs, gluten and dairy. These things seemed to affect my weight and body very negatively. For the most part I tried cutting them out but never was very serious about it. When I left school, this is when I started forming my Anorexia habits and I basically cut everything out expect low carb veggies and continued to eat this way for about a year and a half. After recovery , when I gained quite a bit of weight back eating whatever I could because I needed huge amounts of calories, I slowly started to restrict again. For some obscure reasons I had an intense fear of fats and protein ( which is ironic because thats basically my whole diet right now) so I opted for mostly veggies and very lean protein in small amounts but absolutely no fat. You could most defiantly call how I ate after becoming weight restored – disordered. Due to the restrictions and my body being so hungry for nutrition, this would lead me to binge on carbie, sugary foods all the time. In 2017 I ate mostly a pescatarian diet but limiting fats and protein and still eating majority veggies. Something I have realised in these few years and right now is my body just doesn’t feel great when eating carbs and this is part of the reason I love carnivore because it makes me feel so great. A year before carnivore, I ate mostly a low carb diet but defiantly did not eat high fat. My relationship with food before carnivore was so messed up and I suffered from severe IBS every time I ate any kind of food whether it was salad, veg, fish etc. I would immediately bloat and become so constipated. I think it is safe to say that my diet before carnivore was all over the place and very inconsistent.
3. Why did you try Carnivore to begin with?
In November 2018 my boyfriend and I took a trip to the US to visit my Aunt in Florida. I had just finished my final year at University and it was defiantly a very stressful time, so when I went over to Florida, I was able to relax and finally focus on fixing all the damage I had done over the years. My whole mindset was defiantly still to be lean and skinny and I remember being wide awake at about 2am due to jet lag and scrolling the internet. Somehow I came across Kevin Stock’s website and started reading his blogs about carnivore. Let me tell you I grew up eating a lot of meat and ever since cutting it out, my body craved it but due to my disordered eating I never let myself have it. So I thought to myself that I would give it a try and I did but I still ate greens and opted for very lean protein. Again my silly fear of fat got the better of me. In this time I slowly started introducing more beef and I could tell that it was helping my body and just how much my body was craving it. I started becoming ok with eating more and more meat and I gradually increased my calories. It honestly felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I was breaking free from my old habits. So I would say initially I tried carnivore for weight-loss and I am so glad I did try it because looking back now it has given me so many more benefits and has helped me heal many things within my body. Just to clarify, I have not lost weight on the carnivore diet, I have actually gained weight since starting it properly, eating only animals and animal products, but this was necessary for my body to heal and I have made peace with that. I have been full carnivore for about 10 months now as prior to that after my US trip I was more meat based and still consuming a few plants in my diet.
4. How do you personally approach the carnivore diet?
For me I have recently made the change to Grass-fed beef and free range meat only. I am lucky enough to get some great produce from farms around my area. I eat any kind of meat from beef, seafood, chicken, pork, lamb and I love eggs. I eat grass-fed butter, ghee and consume bone broth regularly. Recently I have started incorporating some organ meat in the form of beef heart. I have tried liver but I just can’t stomach the taste so I have found some grass-fed liver capsules which I include into my diet. I keep my diet pretty simple and eat 2 meals a day, lunch and dinner. I like to include eggs in my lunch often and then just eat what ever meat we have available at that time. I love to nibble on bones from the meat ( my weird fetish haha). Recently I noticed I was becoming quite fatigued and lethargic so I have made a conscious effort to up my fat intake which has helped so much.
As for coffee, I know there is some controversy around it but honestly I feel to each their own. Coffee doesn’t seem to affect me negatively and every morning I have a half decaf, half regular brew with some grass-fed collagen mixed into it. Since starting carnivore my need for caffeine has down scaled quite radically and I only honestly drink it for the tase. I don’t drink any alcohol and have not for the last 5 years so that has never really been a factor for me. I make sure to drink about 2 L of water daily mostly during my fasting period. I tend to stick to a 16-17 hour fast from my last meal and this works well for me. I have experimented with longer fasting windows but this has been quite triggering for me and I find myself slipping into a ‘binge’ tendency. So for me its pretty simple, eat meat, make sure I’m getting good fats, stay hydrated , eat when hungry and eat to satiety.
I have zero craving with this way of eating so I am never really tempted as I always feel satisfied after my meals.
5. Benefits you have seen on Carnivore?
For me the biggest benefit has been my relationship with food. I am able to eat freely without guilt and the foods I am eating make me feel great. I have noticed that all the food ‘rules’ I created for myself have disappeared and my outlook on food is more for a healing purpose rather than a punishment. My anxiety and depression has lifted and so has my insomnia. I used to wake up every morning at 2am and would not be able to sleep for the rest of the night. Now I very regularly wake up during the night and am getting a good 7 hours. My mood has massively improved. I used to be a very negative person and I think my boyfriend will agree with this on haha. My mental state is so great these days and very regularly to I have bad days where as before it would be the opposite. I am able to be more social with my eating and can enjoy family gatherings and dinners without feeling anxious or out of control. I struggled with so much inflammation from my hypothyroidism and anorexia after becoming weigh restored and since going 100% carnivore I have lost that ‘puffy’ swollen look on my body and face. I generally just feel so much more healthier and like a normal functioning human again. This is probably the best I have ever felt in my entire life.
6. What negatives have you found with Carnivore?
Absolutely none. Carnivore has changed my life so much and has added so much good back into it. One factor that I could mention is that eating this way can become expensive but honestly it is so worth it for me because of all the benefits I have seen. I hear many people talk about how you can’t eat this way and maintain the diet for a long period of time but honestly it can’t be further from the truth. I can totally see myself eating this way for the rest of my life. I don’t miss eating anything I used to eat. My family has accepted my diet and my boyfriend has actually converted to a meat-based way of eating for his own health reasons, so socially I have not experienced any negative. I have come across some negative comments about the way I eat but this works for me and I don’t have to justify my diet to anybody. Again, to each their own I guess 🙂
7. Do you exercise on the Carnivore diet?
Yes even before I started this I was really into weights and lifting. I still continue to do this and I think it extremely beneficial. I have always loved being active and now that I finally have gotten my nutrition in a good place my workouts have been great. I feel strong and notice that my endurance has increased so much. My schedule right now is , I like to train full body 4 times a week and on the other days I like to stay active by walking, skipping or doing some sort of cardio. Working out is a great stress reliever for me and I noticed that it has been a huge mood booster as well. My body composition has changed so much since I initially started changing but with Carnivore added into the mix , it has really changed and become leaner and more muscular. Another thing I have noticed is that my motivation to train has increased since carnivore, I guess because I am able to see change within my body which helps me stay eager.
8. What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in trying this diet, but hasn’t taken the leap yet.
Honestly, just do it. I would defiantly recommend to try it for a good few weeks before judging it. There is so much good information out there now that all your questions or doubts you have about the diet can be answered. For me when I started, I was very hesitant and it slowed the whole process down for me. I wish I just jumped in and started it without all the other bits in-between. So if you are curious or looking to do carnivore for healing, just start.
Something I have learned along my carnivore journey is patience and to not compare your journey to others. We are all different and there is no one-size fits all with this. I think everybody that has started carnivore has different reasons for it so it doesn’t make sense to compare where you are in your journey to someone else. Be patient, let your body heal and don’t focus too much on what others are doing.
9. Do you think carnivore will ever be accepted as a mainstream diet?
It is defiantly becoming more popular, no doubt about it but I think it will take some time before it is accepted as a mainstream diet. To most who have not tried it, it seems quite restrictive and excessive but I believe it is becoming more and more popular and people are defiantly way more curious about it. It is still quite foreign in South Africa and I think there are only a hand-full of carnivore out here but day by day peoples curiosity about the diet is increasing and I hope by sharing my success with it, it will help other gain a new outlook on it. My opinion is that a ‘meat-based’ diet will be more accepted in a society rather than a carnivore way of eating.
10. Anything you would like to add, and where can people follow you.
Carnivore has defiantly saved me in so many ways and it sound crazy but a simple diet change has added so much back into my life. Th amount of support the carnivore community gives each other is so great and I have recently started becoming more vocal about my lifestyle on instagram. The amount of support I have received from sharing my journey with carnivore and my eating disorder has been great.
I am very active on my instagram @rosie_lombard where I post about my lifestyle and carnivore related things and I also have a second account where I love to post my meals @rosie_eatsmeat. I have recently started a Youtube channel where i will be posting carnivore related content as well as talking about my eating disorder past so if you are keen to follow my journey my Page is called Rose Lombard.
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